This Morning In My Neck Of The Woods.....
Each morning I walk down the hall out into the open room facing South/West with its 10’ wide glass doors framing the fields and the front range of the continental divide. And each morning I gasp, dumbfounded, grab my camera and often run outside mostly naked(in this below-zero weather I put on my giant raspberry parka and ugg boots) and race out into the first field with the horses-who-have-not-frozen, the horses-who-got-fuzzy-overnight, and I take a picture. I say out loud, ‘this will be the image I use for the blog!’ referring to the blog post I have been trying to write for weeks now, that stubbornly refuses to arrive. In that moment of such extraordinary beauty – such impossible, perfectly traumatizing beauty – it seems a requirement that I must get broken-open in order to receive it at its full volume. I can’t imagine another moment being like this. And yet yesterday was exactly this. And so was the day before that. And at this point I’ve caught on. People, tomorrow will be exactly like this too! Genuinely, I stand there and proclaim, “How can THIS be happening?!” and I forget that I did this very thing the day before, and the day before that. Each day so surpassing the last it is as if I’m born anew to it at 5:45am every morning. There is a conspiracy going on here. There is a conspiracy of Beauty; of intimate relationship, of love making, of abundance, of apples still on the weeping branches of the 100 year old apple tree, looking like blood garlands in this snow. Taking this tree in, with its golden leaves, the deep red round apples, hundreds and hundreds of them still hanging with a dollop of snow capping each one, branches weeping like a waterfall from the very top of its 35 foot crown...and there, the turquoise blue sky behind it all, it is impossible to be unaltered here. It is impossible to remain in tact here.
There is a conspiracy of heart break being perpetrated; of furry, sweet-mash smelling horses right outside my door, exhaling frozen breath so thick it envelopes me like vestments as they put their noses in my ear, nibble my neck, wipe their frost-coated whiskers across my almost-numb cheek and brace their foreheads against my chest in that way the elkhound does too.
There is a conspiracy of love and care, even more than my life up to this point, as I’m surrounded by humans invested in intelligent, wild, intimate relationship; humans of such beautiful wholeness even as we are so perfectly broken. Of stallions, big-handed dark-loving poets and northern wild men, who so gracefully know how to simultaneously love themselves while kneeling in reverence at the hobbled feet of The World. And they only get larger and more potent for doing so. Of females whose fierce devotion to Beauty and Truth is creating a new language of intimate woman's culture, and from this place of full-body saturated nourishment turning toward their men and saying, "I see a warrior who...". I am loved, made love to and making love with this volume of Life in a way that gives me hope for what – really what – it might look like were we to remember what it means to be human-beings and create our culture from this place of awareness.
Our reclamation of true human-reverent culture, community, family and partnership is a prerequisite to any healing we facilitate for this planet. In fact, it will only come from here, after this. What we are doing now as a culture (those of us in industrialized culture) is nothing short of an abomination of dishonoring. How we are living, the an-intimate landscapes we are diligently creating, derived from a myth borne of a pathological human cosmology, will only support the continued annihilation of this mysterious, breathtaking life support system on which we rely – this earth. The answer, as so many are imagining, is not this thing we call polyamory nor is it deeper religion or tougher environmental regulations. Nor is it enraged activism. Nor is it sequestering ourselves in schools for the first 16 years of our lives simply learning about living rather than actually learning how to live.
The answer lies in shifting the way we are in relationship with this world, remembering and reclaiming the fundamental partnership that is ours to have with this world, The World. And from here allowing this experience of profound (self) love to permeate and dictate everything we do with every moment of our time. Netflix is not out of the question. Nor is the second glass of wine. Nor is the sports bar, or the one-night stand. But it’s likely that spending more than 10 minutes each day on Facebook is actually profoundly detrimental to your neurological and emotional well-being. And absolutely, people, it is without a doubt that living an entire day (week, month, year) without once stopping, turning toward The World, placing your full attention on your awareness of its gifts to you then offering, from this place, the impact of these gifts on you, is a self-imposed orphaning the destitution of which, on the scale it is happening at this time, is likely responsible for the the wholesale armageddon occurring on Earth.
I turned 49 two days ago and I feel everything in me shifting toward something new, a new way of being that is making room for my Queen and then my Elder/Wise Woman. These, I see already, are the most generative, fearless, exalted years of my woman in this lifetime. There is a quiet but relentless voice in me that, especially after the wild and learning journey of the last four years, is simply the garnered wisdom of my own soul; what William Stafford so perfectly calls the ‘red thread’. My red thread is the burnt crimson color of rich red blood. She is serpentine in her way. She winds through my consciousness and out into the Earth consciousness with a stealth sensuality. With circular breath she whispers things like ‘Love harder. Love more. Love without fear. Love as if you are the richest woman on earth (because you are!). See Beauty everywhere. Be beautiful and in-love all the time even in your uncertainty and heartbreak, because even here, the World has not forsaken you. Offer everything of yourself to The World, even the most adored items on the top shelf of your cupboard, in every moment. Live with the knowledge that you are a daughter of this miraculous world, with an inheritance that is both precious and generative. Know that you are loved un-endingly and that your full participation in this miracle of Earth’s whirling is required.”
The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.
– William Stafford